House Hearing on White Supremacy Infiltrating Police Departments: 9/29/2020

The FBI is taking a beating today for downplaying the infiltration of white supremacists’ into law enforcement agencies.

My former criminal procedure law professor, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) led a House hearings on white supremacy infiltrating police departments today. I’m writing this post because we need to draw as much attention to this issue as possible.

Where Is The FBI?

If the FBI will not investigate this, then who will? Seriously, this is very troubling. According to Rep. Raskin the FBI was invited to testify but declined to do so.

I can’t believe the rank and file believe this isn’t an issue. I’ve been in rooms where we’ve talked about domestic terrorism, and the concerns over white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement has been a topic of discussion with people from the FBI, other law enforcement agencies, and researchers who study this dangerous situation.

Read the FBI’s own words on the dangers of white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement here:

Watch the House hearings on white supremacists’ infiltration of law enforcement here (click here).

Everyone Should Be Concerned – Including Cops

Rep. Raskin correctly pointed out in his opening remarks that this isn’t just a concern for Black Americans, Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and other hated targets of white supremacists. He noted that this is a concern for everyone including police officers.

In addition to the fact that most police officers are not racists, we should all do well to recognize that domestic terrorists account for more cop killings than anyone else. To learn more about this, check out this recent article at by Jon Lewis (a Research Fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University):

Rethinking Domestic Terrorism Law After Boogaloo Movement Attacks

Also check out additional information at the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism here:

Background Information: Far-Right Attacks on U.S. Law Enforcement

Here are some shocking bits facts from the START Center from back in 2009:

  • In the United States, 42 law enforcement officers have been killed in 32 incidents in which at least one of the suspects was a far-rightist since 1990;
  • Attacks on police by far-rightists tend to occur during routine law enforcement activities. 34% of the officers killed by far-rightists were slain during a traffic stop, and a number of law enforcement officers have been killed while responding to calls for service similar to the domestic violence call that precipitated the Pittsburgh murders; and
  • Only 12% of the suspects in these attacks were members of formal groups with far-right ideologies. The vast majority – like Poplawski- acted alone. This greatly complicates law-enforcement efforts to anticipate which individuals might pose a threat to police officers.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement has opened our eyes to something that’s been around for a very long time. Law enforcement and white supremacy have been connected to one another for a very long time. Our focus on the racist violence under the color of law should be married with the nascent (non-existent?) efforts at confronting and preventing hate-inspired targeted violence. They go together. To talk about one without the other is to miss a chance to save more lives.

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